ou know how I always say that the origin of such and such cake is unknown, a mystery, a controversy? Well, not this time! The whole story about the Sacher cake is well documented and historically confirmed, so here it is. Sachertorte as it is it’s original name, is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian named Franz Sacher in 1832, for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. Now, this is one beautiful cake, no doubt about that, but what is more interesting is a legal battle that took place over it, and lasted for many years! It’s like reading a good thriller actually! So,in 1832, Austrian Prince Wenzel von Metternich charged his personal chef with creating a special dessert for several important guests. As the luck would have it, the head chef got sick, so this important task fell onto weak shoulders of his sixteen year old apprentice, by the name of Franz Sacher! You can see the plot emerging, right?
Luckily, everything went OK, the guests were happy, and the young apprentice finished his training, and later opened a specialty delicatessen and wine shop in Vienna. Boring, I know! Where is the thriller, you’ll ask? Well, chef Sacher had a son, named Eduard, which carried on his father’s culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna at Demel bakery, during which time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. But, and this is one important but, in 1876, chef Eduard Sacher opened the Hotel Sacher! And here comes the action part!
In the early decades of the 20th century, a legal battle over the use of the label “The Original Sacher Torte” developed between the Hotel Sacher and the Demel bakery. You see, chef Eduard Sacher completed his recipe for Sacher Torte while working at Demel, but, as an owner of the Hotel Sacher, he served this cake there. When he died, hotel went bankrupt in 1934, and his son, Eduard junior, went to work at the Demel bakery, bringing his father’s cake with him, so the Demel started selling the “Sacher Torte”. The battle started in 1938, when the new owners of the Hotel Sacher also began to sell Sacher Tortes under the trademarked name “The Original Sacher Torte”. This soap opera was interrupted by a little thing called “the second world war”, but it was continued in 1954, when the hotel owners sued Demel, claiming that they bought the trademark rights to the name “Original Sacher Torte” when they bought the hotel itself!
Over the next seven years, both parties waged an intense legal war over several issues, including the change of the name, the second layer of jam in the middle of the cake, and the substitution of margarine for butter in the baking of the cake. Imagine! So finally, in 1963, they settled out of court and since then, Hotel Sacher has the rights to the phrase “The Original Sachertorte”, and Demel bakery makes and sells their own Sacher cake decorated with triangular seal that reads “Eduard-Sacher-Torte”! A genuine pastry telenovela, right? Now, since I don’t want to get sued for making the original Sacher cake, I’ll show you how to make my version of this classic. I hope you’ll like it!
Sacher Torte Recipe
by:Tereza Alabanda,The Pastry MaestraPRINT PDF (EN) ISPIŠI PDF (HR)
Prep. time : 30 minutes
Cook time : 35 minutes
Ready in 90 minutes plus cooling
Level : AdvancedThe Cake
- Butter 120g (4.2oz)
- Sugar 100g (3.5oz)
- Egg yolks 100g (3.5oz or 5 medium yolks)
- All purpose flour 40g (1.4oz)
- Hazelnuts, toasted and ground 50g (1.8oz)
- Cocoa powder 30g (1oz)
- Egg whites 150g (5.3oz or 5 egg whites)
- Sugar 60g (2.1oz)
- Water 100g (3.5oz)
- Sugar 100g (3.5oz)
- Rum 15ml (1Tbsp)
- Apricot puree 250g (8.8oz)
- Sugar 85g (3oz)
- Lemon juice 10ml (2Tsp)
- Gelatin 7g (4 sheets)
- Dark Chocolate 300g (10.6oz)
- Double cream 300g (10.6oz)
- Butter 85g (3oz)
- Sugar 160g (5.6oz)
- Water 60g (2.1oz)
- Glucose syrup 85g (3oz)
- Cocoa powder 60g (2.1oz)
- Cream 150g (5.3oz)
- Gelatin 9g (6 sheets)
- Mix the butter and 100g (3.5oz) of sugar in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until the mixture becomes creamy. Gradually add egg yolks and mix until incorporated.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and add ground hazelnuts into another bowl, and stir to combine.
- Make French meringue out of egg whites and 60g (2.1oz) sugar.
- Fold in 1⁄3 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture. Incorporate 1⁄2 of the dry ingredients into the mixture. Fold the second 1⁄3 of the meringue, and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Finish with final 1⁄3 of meringue; be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Pour it into the prepared 20cm (8″) in diameter cake pan, and bake it at 180ºC (350°F) for approximately 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. The Syrup
- While the cake is baking make the syrup. Mix water with sugar and heat this mixture in the microwave until the sugar dissolves. Leave the syrup to cool down, add rum and stir to combine. Apricot Jelly
- To make apricot jelly prepare one 18cm (7″) in diameter cake ring and line it with aluminum foil. Soak gelatin in cold water. When the gelatin softens, squeeze it to get rid of the excess water and set it aside. Put apricot puree, sugar and lemon juice into a bowl and stir the mixture. Heat it in the microwave until it boils. Then, remove it from the microwave and add prepared gelatin. Stir the mixture until the gelatin melts. Pour it into the prepared mold and put everything in the freezer to set. Chocolate Ganache
- To make ganache put chopped chocolate into a bowl, and in another bowl heat the cream in the microwave until it boils. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and leave it for one minute to allow it to melt the chocolate. Then, stir with a whisk until you get uniform mixture. Add softened butter, and stir until it melts. Leave ganache at room temperature to set. Assembly
- When the cake is cooled, take it out from the mold and cut it horizontally into two layers. Remove apricot jelly from the mold.
- To assemble the cake line one 20cm (8″) in diameter cake mold with acetate strip. Put one layer of the cake on the bottom, and soak it with syrup. Pipe about one third of the ganache on top of that, and then insert frozen apricot jelly in the middle. Pour another third of the ganache on top of the jelly and spread it with small spatula. Put second cake layer on top of the ganache, and soak it with syrup. Put everything in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set.
- Remove the cake from the mold and peel off the acetate strip. Coat the sides and the top of the cake with remaining ganache. Put the cake back in the fridge. Chocolate Mirror Glaze
- To make the glaze soak the gelatin in cold water. When the gelatin softens, squeeze it to get rid of the excess water and set it aside. Put water and sugar into a saucepan, and bring the syrup to a boil. Add glucose, and continue cooking the syrup until it reaches 104°C (219°F). At that point, remove it from the stove and add sifted cocoa powder. Stir with a whisk until the mixture becomes uniform. Heat the cream in the microwave and add gelatin to it. Stir until the gelatin dissolves. Pour the cream and gelatin mixture into the cocoa mixture. Blend the glaze with immersion blender, and run it through a strain. Cover the glaze with cling film and leave it to cool down to 35°C (95°F). Chocolate Decoration
- To make chocolate decoration pipe blobs of tempered dark chocolate onto a parchment paper, and spread them with spatula. Then, pipe parallel lines on top of that, and dab with a spatula to get the ripple effect. After that, dust the chocolate decoration with cocoa powder. When the chocolate sets, cut it into random pieces. Glazing
- Put cooled cake onto a small cake ring, and glaze it with mirror glaze. Leave the glaze to drip down. Then, cover the bottom of the cake with chocolate chunks. Pipe the word “Sacher” on top of the cake with melted dark chocolate. Finally, decorate the cake with chocolate decorations.
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